Integration with Workday and Outlook are great.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 15, 2012

Integration with Workday and Outlook are great.

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

Mid-market edition

Modules Used

  • Learning Cloud (Learning Management)

Overall Satisfaction

  • It integrates extremely well with Workday. Every week we have two syncs – one at the beginning and one at the end of week to pick up all organizational changes e.g. new hires, terminations etc. It happens in the background and reduces the duplicate data entry requirement. It takes the organization structure from Workday and plops it into the system. It is important for managers to see accurate information when they log in.
  • It allows user to search for different types of training.
  • You can direct people to training classes by making it highly visible on their homepage when they log They can automatically see what they are assigned.
  • Integrated well with SSO (Single Sign-On).
  • Good integration to Outlook. During our evaluation process, I didn’t see many other systems that did that well. With other systems, it seemed like you had to go through a lot of steps to get something to appear on your calendar. This was an important feature to the team.
  • Easy to brand with our logo etc.
  • We didn’t have to pay for training content storage. That was big factor. The other companies we evaluated were charging for storage or the number of trainings posted to the system. At least one of them grouped it into tiers and those tiers were priced differently. We saw that as a blocker to wanting to grow the system, i.e. the body of training content.
  • It is easy to use different types of training. We saw a lot of LMSs that were focused on just instructor led or e-learning. This one has the availability to load different types of training – online classes, events, curriculums. You can build tests, evaluations, and surveys fairly easily.
  • Customized reporting tool.
  • Topic management tool – so we could use for Knowledge Management, but we use Chatter right now.
  • It allows employees to add their own external training that they have completed.
  • It is not always straightforward, but we are still learning.
  • There is often slow response time when making configuration changes. Changes can sometimes take up to one hour to appear.
  • Some features can only be enabled or configured on the back end by the vendor, and it often takes a long time for them to respond.
  • If you enroll all employees in a curriculum, you can’t unenroll them unless you go one by one through every account individually.
  • We’ve had reports of users being unable to move through a curriculum because the training would not mark as “complete” even though they have finished everything.
  • There are some parts of the interface that aren’t user friendly, i.e. you have to go through a lot of clicks. I think there could be UI improvements.
  • The way the widgets displays training that is assigned to a user is not consistent. It doesn’t show everything, and the order it displays training titles is random. It is difficult to tell a user what to expect when they see their home page.
  • I do wish it had a better sandbox environment. It’s a one-time refresh and you have to pay for additional refreshes which makes it more difficult to test. If we want to load a test curriculum and assign it to people, we have to do it in production, then deactivate it later – it will always be there. If we want to make changes to the interface, you cannot publish it, since it’s a production only environment. It makes it trickier to make changes. By contrast, Workday does a good job in this area – but you pay extra.
  • The ability to consolidate all company training into one system. Right now, we have other tools that different departments use and we want to pull it all into one LMS. Right now (before the full implementation of the LMS) one of the biggest complaints we get from new hires is they don’t know where to go as information is spread out throughout the company.
  • We want to get managers to the point where they can track the training progress of their employees. The feeling currently is that managers are not that involved with their employees' training. This is an important goal, especially for a group like sales, product management, and technical support. We are putting together curriculums for sales and managers so they will know when an individual achieves 25% progress, for example. We haven’t had that before.
We have had some post implementation difficulties.
My biggest advice would be to consider additional implementation support if never done it before, and if there are a lot of unknowns.

Product Usage

1000 - It is going to be used by all of our employees. We are creating curriculums for sales, managers/leaders, and e-learning content that people can pick and choose. To drive participation, we are setting it up where people have to complete things, e.g. for new hire on-boarding.
0 dedicated. 4 who do it along with other job responsibilities.

My role will start scaling back as my implementation responsibilities end. I expect it to be just 10% of my time, for integration etc.

There are 3 people building content and 2 who work together on system administration, but none are devoted resources. Training should be self-sufficient. I know they want a full time person to administer and create content.
  • The learning cloud module supports instructor led training, e-learning, document storage for training and customized training (e.product teams putting together a video). It’s currently purely for internal use though we have had discussions about using it with customers too.

Evaluation and Selection

No specific package - we were using a combination of Sharepoint, Outlook and Spreadsheets.
Our shortlist was: Litmus, Success Factors, Absorb, and Bloomfire. Our primary business need was learning management

a) Bloomfire – seemed more of a social networking, knowledge management tool, not really for learning management and so was eliminated.

b) Our initial choice was Success Factors, but we couldn’t come to terms on the contract. They weren’t willing to work with us on contract language for future purchases. Workday (who we use for HRIS) used Success Factors as their LMS at the time, but I understand it's since been decommissioned.

c) We didn’t know about Cornerstone at the time we selected Success Factors, but would have picked them otherwise. We learned about them after we had ruled out Success Factors. We ended up choosing Cornerstone as it had the best integration with Outlook and the highest capability to integrated with our HRIS (Workday) and to customize. You can change the display of the interface and put things where you want to go. It is highly customizable for branding and business.

Implementation

The implementation was pretty difficult. We felt they (Cornerstone) didn’t properly allocate the resources to complete our implementation in the timetable we wanted.

For example, we worked on Workday and SSO integrations - work that we had specifically contracted for in advance. When we were ready to work on that project, they didn’t have the people ready to help us, so it took a lot longer than necessary. That was my biggest pain point.

The implementation approach we went with was a self-led implementation. We would speak to the implementation manager once per week, and self-trained. We met with implementation manager to discuss issues, review things that we’d learned for 1 hour. We found that wasn’t enough. Other things would come up outside that one hour window that we couldn’t get answers to. We didn’t have anyone to ask about those things and we had to wait to ask during our weekly meeting.

The advantage of the self-led implementation approach was that it was really inexpensive – significantly less than the implementation cost for the other systems that we looked at. I also liked that we could pace ourselves. There were however big roadblocks. We would have to make sure the right resources were available. We had an implementation/project manager with a lot of experience and felt that the person was knowledgeable but missed on a few things.

In hindsight, I would still go with the self-led implementation, but knowing what I know now, I would ask for the integration person to be available more. I would work that into the contract. With single sign-on, we needed deep linking to build direct links through a Single Sign-On tool, e.g. when someone gets an email, it directs them to training. But it has to go through SSO to get them to the correct link. Deep linking wasn’t turned on in our system and they had to activate it. We encountered little things like that – sequencing pre-requisites which were problematic. We tried to troubleshoot ourselves.

I recommend you consider contracting for some extra implementation hours and determine when they are going to be available. Work it into the contract that you have the ability to call tech support during implementation. In addition to weekly implementation meetings, they have technical webexes – 4 every week, but 2 didn’t apply to us – one as we were using SSO. The challenge is they were not always relevant – we had specific questions that didn’t fall into those categories.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house

Training

The interface not great. It would be nice to have a full video vs. slide by slide.

They use their LMS tool – it’s a curriculum. It is slow going.

Support

First response times typically take greater than 4 days, which is problematic when there’s an urgent need. Out of 6 tickets we’ve entered, we’ve had to escalate 2.

Usability

We have received a lot of feedback about the number of clicks it takes to launch training from a curriculum.

Reliability

It was down for a couple of hours in our first month. Occasionally, in the evening we have trouble logging in even though it is not a maintenance window.
It’s surprisingly slow for a SAAS product. When you click on links, there’s no hourglass or waiting indicator, so it’s difficult to tell if the system is going to respond.

Integration

  • Workday
  • SSO
Workday has an out of the box integration with Cornerstone. There's a template for the integration. You just have to put in your portal parameters. You do have some steps to go through, but all the instructions are on the Workday community. We ran into some problems at the end of building the integration, and it would have been good to be able to reach Cornerstone but it took two weeks to get them on the phone. The issue resolution just took 30 minutes.

Our SSO integration required that Cornerstone do some back end configuration. We used Okta, which uses SAML 2.0, for integration. (http://www.okta.com).

Vendor Relationship

Difficult. We hope it gets better. When we have had questions, it has been difficult to get a straight answer.
I would advise anyone considering purchasing Cornerstone to try to negotiate renewal contract terms, net payment terms, if it is important to their business. Most importantly, I would contract service commitments in the statement of work.